Bears

Time to sound the alarm? Bears' defense says no

314307.jpg

Time to sound the alarm? Bears' defense says no

Friday, Dec. 31, 2010
3:27 PM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Throughout most of this season the Bears defense has been little cause for concern. Yardage allowed has been no worse than 10th since the off week. Points allowed has ranked no worse than 10th since week two. The rushing defense has been no worse than No. 4 since week four.

And yet...

The Bears have held just one of their last five opponents to fewer than 20 points per game. That compares with allowing just one of their first five opponents in 2010 to score as many as 20 points in a game. The yardage-per-game ranking that was No. 4 (300) after the second Detroit game has fallen to No. 10 (316). Only the Minnesota Vikings in the Monday Night snowfest (273) totaled less than 300 yards.

I wouldnt say that its time to sound the alarm, linebacker Lance Briggs insisted. Everything weve done is correctable. Plus at the end of the year, offensive coordinators have all years worth of tape to study and scheme off of us. Theres been some good schemes, good game plans against us the last couple games, and its really good for us to see those kinds of things.

We have an idea how teams are going to attack us, whats been successful and what teams are going to continue to do. Weve seen things this year alone that we havent seen in the seven years weve been playing this defense.

The Bears have no plans of any sort to modify dramatically their defensive scheme or even their approach.

The reason is that the sense is not so much that teams are outsmarting the Bears, but rather that the Bears are not playing like the Bears.

I just think that when there are breakdowns, usually theyre our own, said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. And they attack us and all of those things. Thats all part of the game. But usually, theyre all correctable and we can adjust to them. And we have our little wrinkle here and there, but basically weve got to go out and really execute well, which were planning on doing.

Sunday would be a very good place to start, even with several starters likely to be pulled at some point of the game. The Packers gained 379 yards on the Bears in their first meeting, fifth-highest output against the defense this season.

Only Tom Brady (351) and Tony Romo (374) passed for more than the 316 yards Aaron Rodgers threw for against the Bears, who did not sack him even once.

Sick Bay

Wide receiver Earl Bennetts ankle improved enough to allow him some work at practice but Bennett is being listed as questionable for Sunday in Green Bay and could be held out of that game to ensure that he is fully recovered when the playoffs start for the Bears two weeks later.

Green Bay placed guard Marshall Newhouse on injured reserve and declared defensive end Cullen Jenkins, safety Atari Bigby, linebacker Frank Zombo and fullback Korey Hall all out with injuries.

No other Packers were listed as anything less than probable, including tackle Chad Clifton, cornerback Charles Woodson, linebacker Clay Matthews, safety Nick Collins and defensive end Ryan Pickett, all of whom were limited in practice at one time or another this week.

Party animal

Lovie Smith isnt making any lavish plans for New Years Eve, just planning on spending the night watching TV in the basement with wife MaryAnne. No game film allowed.

No video, he said. Im going to take tonight off and just spend it with her tonight. Looking forward to that.

But if there isnt any excessive celebration in the works, it doesnt mean that there isnt a true sense of accomplishment as the calendar year comes to a close. Its a great feeling to go through what we have, Smith said. Everybody is upbeat because of what we have accomplished so far. And then to have an opportunity to play against our rival.

Smith clearly likes the idea of facing a team that creates an edge for his own. Indeed, he endorses the NFLs idea of having final games of seasons against division opponents. But even more than that, everyone should play against their main rival the last game of the season, always, where you have a lot to be pumped up about, Smith said. Were looking forward to going up to Lambeau. Weve had some success up there. We hear theyre anxious for us to get up there, and we cant wait to go, too.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Former Bears linebacker Mike Singletary reportedly leaves HS coaching job

Former Bears linebacker Mike Singletary reportedly leaves HS coaching job

Mike Singletary may be one of the best linebackers in NFL history, but his coaching career has not lived up to his playing days.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Singletary has stepped down from a high school coaching job in Texas after he led the team to a 1-21 record over two seasons.

According to the report, Singletary is going to focus on motivational speaking and consulting opportunities, instead of coaching football.

Singletary also coached in the Alliance of American Football for the Memphis Express in 2019, but he didn’t have much more success there. The Express went 2-6 in the lone AAF season.

As a head coach in the NFL, Singletary fared a bit better. His San Francisco 49ers went 18-22 from 2008-2010. He last coached in the NFL as defensive assistant for the Rams in 2016.

RELATED: Mike Ditka's Gold Coast restaurant closes partly due to coronavirus impact

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

Chicago Bears tabbed 'best value' bets for several NFL futures

Chicago Bears tabbed 'best value' bets for several NFL futures

Even though the Bears have fairly long odds to win the division, they’re being recognized as “best value” bets for several futures.

An overall regression in 2019, coupled with an upcoming quarterback competition between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles, soured oddsmakers on the team.

As things stand on Monday morning, the Bears have the third-longest odds to win the division at +400, putting them behind the Vikings and Packers at +165 and +170, respectively.

But you can find value in picking the Bears to win the division when you look at the win total over/under futures, as well.

Right now, the Bears sit at 7.5 wins, behind the Packers at 9 wins and Vikings at 8.5. With things projected to be so tight from a win total standpoint, the Bears have been recognized as a “best value” pick to win the NFC North since their defense can steal any game on the schedule, adding a win or two and propelling them to a division crown.

Using that same logic, the Bears have also been recognized with a “best value” pick to hit the over on their 7.5 win total.

There’s no reason to think the defense will take a step back from last season-- in fact by all accounts, the squad should improve again with Robert Quinn in the fold, and Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack fully healthy again.

While things may develop a little more slowly on the offensive side due to the aforementioned QB competition, any uptick in offensive production should help the team improve on their 8-8 record from last season, making it easy to see why taking the over on 7.5 wins feels like a great value bet.

RELATED: Several White Sox in spotlight for 2020 MLB Futures bets

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.